In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

It Depends on Your Definition of "Botched"

Oklahoma had a glitch, while they were executing a monster convicted of raping a girl, shooting her and then burying her before she was dead. She died of suffocation.

Meanwhile, the convicted killer wasn't killed by the witch's brew of drugs and eventually died of a heart attack.

Now, the media is talking about the "botched" execution.

From my vantage point, they were successful, even if it was a little messy, and they shouldn't have delayed the execution of the second murderer, that raped and killed an 11 month old baby.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Almost a Daily Occurence

Galveston is full of sea birds; especially seagulls. There's a variety of these birds and they are comfortable with their place in the big scheme of things.

What is this big scheme? If you drive, they crap on your vehicle. It's their job, they're proficient at their task, and just about every day, you'll find one of their efforts baking on the paint of your vehicle.

Santa on a Harley

I saw Santa today. I know you might be saying to yourself: "There's no way.", but it was him; same beard, face, ruddy complexion and belly.

He was wearing a t-shirt and jeans, waiting at a light and looked as though he didn't have a care in the world.

I didn't see Rudolph. I'm guessing he was back at the hotel, soaking up some air conditioning. I can understand that. Reindeer don't seem to be acclimated for 90 degree temperatures.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Some Things I Learned, While Blogging

I've been blogging for a few years. So far, it's been rewarding; mostly because it's nice to have people willing to peek into my thoughts and not recoil in revulsion.

Some things I learned:

- Blogging is enjoyable: No, it's not like spending a week in Tahiti, with people waiting on you like royalty; moments of sheer bliss as you watch the sun set in a sea so blue, it makes your eyes hurt and finding a treasure ship full of gold.

Still, it's enjoyable, and I can invent such a vacation, write about it and enjoy my thoughts as I write.

-Visitors visit for reasons beyond comprehension: If I can ever determine what drives people to peruse posts even I forgot about, I'll hire a programmer, give them the information and sit back, while the money flows in.

- The world is small, when you blog: I have visitors from all over the world. Most don't comment, but that's okay. I understand many found my site by accident, while searching for porn.

....and the best thing I learned: Blogging is a discipline, with the requirement you learn from writing and never assume you can express your thoughts as well as you'd like.

Over one hundred thousand visitors have been to my blog. To me, that's amazing, especially when I think about how much money I'd have accrued, if everyone spent a quarter for the visit. If that was what happened, I'd have enough money to go on the vacation to Tahiti, watch beautiful sunsets and explore the island, while looking for treasure ships...or not. At this point in life, I'd rather sit on the porch, sip something cold and watch the world go by.

The Irony of Life

As I was driving home, with my wife, to comfort my mother on the day my father died, this song played on the radio. It still bring tears.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Friday, April 25, 2014

Dueling Banjos by One

Don't try this at home.

No Turn Signal Friday

Once a year, the worst of drivers observe "No Turn Signal Friday." Today was the day and the participation was more than last year.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Punk Broadcasting

Cliven Bundy had some remarks that some people found unpleasant. Considering some of the reactions I observed today, the supposed purveyors of free speech, tolerance and liberty are punk broadcasters; worried their good reputations, audiences and cheerleaders will disappear.

Some of the talking heads acted as I would anticipate. Others, who I once respected, waved their asses and only proved to me they're addicted to public adulation like it was crack.

So now, Cliven Bundy is the bad guy; even though he stood up to illegal government actions and harassment by the liberal news media.

Screw 'em. They're cowards and can join the other people I refuse to watch on television, or listen to on the radio.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Frost of a Different Color

When the atmospheric conditions are right, tiny crystals of ice will form on objects. With water this is anywhere from an ambient air temperature of 38 degrees or colder.

Where I've been working, this phenomenon occurs, but the temperature is much warmer and the crystals are not ice: they're sulfur.

Here are some photos I took. Most are found inside the insulated lids of the concrete trenches, although they can form outside the trenches, if the conditions are right and the sulfur fumes are in a high concentration.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Bad Dog

They sure can look guilty, when confronted

Jessica Garlund for Your Sunday Afternoon

Jessica who?

Just watch. You'll like it.

I Remember Their Smiles

We would gather on Easter for a family meal. Everyone local would attend and the house was full.

I don't remember many specifics, except the colored, boiled eggs, the baskets of candy and the smiles.

Most are gone now: my grandparents, my parents, all my aunts and uncles and two brothers. They've moved on, yet I remember their smiles.

It's good enough.

It Might Just Be Me

I try to watch news programs, but soon turn the television to the best channel, which is off.

It might just be me, but I find the perfect hair, business attire, makeup, mock seriousness and complete lack of a basic grasp of reality insulting.

They have high paying jobs, bask in their self-importance and are as far from the nuts and bolts of our society as the Earth is from Mars. They don't represent our society, have degrees useless in making things happen and abuse the privilege of using a public forum to do things that are good for our society.

It's drek, and they've become inconsequential wastes of precious resources.

When The Enemy Retreats

The goal of a retreating adversary is to create mayhem, so those following will hesitate long enough for an escape.

I'm seeing this now with the progessives. Their healthcare supposed victory is a bureaucratic debacle of historic proportions. It failed and there's no denying the truth, even if the President refuses to admit defeat.

The economy is still struggling to recover, but will. The government wall of ideological foolishness is crumbling. As time progresses, and more of the shameful actions by the believers of the madness exposed more people will demand accountability.

Past efforts to subvert are coming to light, with revealing correspondence from the near and far past. People of character are appalled and even allies to the dream are becoming uneasy with the obvious subterfuge that shows a deplorable effort to subjugate a nation to politics that despise liberty.

The last stronghold of the retreating enemy is the media; but their walls are breached. The information they tried to hide is being found. Their efforts are exposed and the vast majority of decent citizens are now informed, seeking more knowledge and determined to bring down the walls completely. The media as known in the past is destined for obscurity.

I'm guessing many will think I'm too optimistic, but I'm not so optimistic to think the rest will be easy.  The current efforts by those that believe the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and should never be circumvented is stronger than in the past; but reaching this point led to financial ruin, character assassination and even death. Forty years ago, people like Cliven Bundy didn't have a forum, and were destroyed without a peep from the media.

This is no longer a war of ideology; it's a war for honesty, integrity, fiscal responsibility, and liberty. The supposed ideological differences of the two major political parties are now stripped away and the exposure reveals a quest for power, without any responsibility to the citizens suffering from the whims of corrupt politics.

Voting to end the political tenures of the rotten politicians will help, but the rot is deep and the bureaucrats in Washington are more of the problem than many realize. It all takes time, but the necessary changes are starting; you can see them in the states unwilling to accept education standards and wanting to recover the land stolen by Federal dictate.

Time will tell how this all turns out. I have faith the eventual outcome is good.

Friday, April 18, 2014

It Won't Last

As I was driving by a local repair shop, I noticed one of the "fly by night" contractors preparing a concrete slab for the entrance to the business. I noticed some things that bothered me; they almost made me want to stop, but I didn't.

The soil is crummy at this location. Locals call it Gumbo, which is a mixture of poor structural clays and topsoil. Since most of the land in this area was farmed at one time, the soil is even more unstable.

To compensate for the poor soil, there are a few things to be done. One is mixing lime with the soil, which consolidates the soil and allows more compaction, density and a soil that is less expansive.

Another is excavating enough soil and placing a stabilized base. This provides more surface area and increases the depth of the subgrade.

The best, in my opinion, is to place enough reinforcement rod to bridge the crummy soil. Even if a soft spot develops in the soil, the extra reinforcement adds enough displacement to allow the concrete to bridge the soft spot and not fail.

None of these things were done and the reinforcement is half of what is needed. The slab will eventually fail and it will happen long after the contractor is gone. The owner will eventually deal with concrete failures and it can happen as soon as the next dry spell.

So, the contractor is making a buck, without any consideration of the long term and the owner is slapping himself on the back for getting the work completed so inexpensively.

I'm betting a permit was never pulled. In fact, I can just about guarantee it, since the work is not up to local code.

Wake up Mama..Turn Your Lamp Down Low

Some Allman Brother's for your Friday afternoon sabbatical.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Things Found Along The Way

Down the road from the project, in a convenience/restaurant, I found something I didn't expect.

 I've had gyros in the past, but none ever impressed me, so it's one of those sandwiches I usually avoid. This evening, succumbing to an urge, I ordered a gyro to go.

 The cook is a man named Nick. I don't know where he's from, but he has a heavy Italian accent, and most of the menu is Italian food.

 Nick asked if wanted the regular gyro, or the good one. When I asked the difference, he said the good one is lamb and beef, with grilled onions and peppers. I answered: "I want the good one."

 The aroma was intoxicating all the way back to the motel. When I arrived at my room, I opened the take out container, examined the gyro, cut it in two and soon dug in.

 For years, I always wondered about the huge attraction to gyros. Now I know, and will crave the things; even after I'm through with the project and back at home.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Some "Yes" For Your Tuesday Evening

They're getting old, and their voices are not still young, but they're still great.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Some Things I Don't Understand

I was looking at pickup, much like mine, but with a little extra shine and prestige.

The wheels are some alloy; polished and shiny.

At the bottom of the doors and along the bed, there's a mirror trim, which is brilliant and adds an elegance to the pickup.

Other than that, it's damn near identical, except it's a Lincoln, which is another brand of truck, but I'm thinking it's much like the Cadillac.

What do I not understand? Why?

Why spend the extra money, when you can purchase a vehicle that does the exact same thing, can be ordered with the same accessories and is substantially less expensive?

Beside the initial cost, any service, or parts, is much more expensive, and the resale value is a substantial amount less than the initial purchase price.

Some things I'll never understand. This is one of them.

I Didn't

I started to complain about taxes, the government, crappy world politics and economy, but decided not. I'd be preaching to the choir and only echoing the sentiments of most of the people that actually pay taxes.

So, I'll post about the weather.

This morning, it was cloudy and the temperature was 73 degrees. The humidity was high, although it wasn't terribly oppressive.

About an hour ago, the frontal boundary arrived, the heavy rain started and the wind shifted to the north.

Now, it's not raining, but the clouds are still hanging and it's about 55 degrees.

The forecast is for steady winds of 25 to 35 mph, with gusts to 40.

Tomorrow morning, the wind is still supposed to be high and the temperature is forecast to be in the low 40's. Otherwise, another bout of winter is soon to be.

At least it's not freezing; and truthfully, the cold air feels pretty nice right now.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Timeless Song

Some songs have clever metaphors. This is one and a testament to the songwriting abilities of members of the Eagles.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Somewhere Is A Tally Sheet

Let's see: the feds gathered 385 trespassing cattle, which have an approximate value of $385,000; a substantial sum, unless you take in account the amount of money they spent protecting tortoises that are supposed to be endangered, but aren't and the show of force. I'm betting millions of tax dollars were flushed down the commode, so we could be impressed/terrorized by the people that only exist because we pay their salaries.

I don't know about you, but it sure appears to me the insane are running the asylum.

If You've Never Heard This Before... the video and enjoy Savoy Brown's "Tell Mama".

Some more "Savoy Brown" for your enjoyment. The cut is "I Can't Get Next to You"

Friday, April 11, 2014

Nevada Debacle

Let's put this in perspective: We have a rancher, who paid ranch fees to the local county, yet the BLM says he owes them a million. At worst, this can be called civil disobedience.

Meanwhile, we have an Attorney General, held in contempt, in charge of those allowing illegal gun running, which caused the death of hundreds, failing to follow the law and arrogantly disregarding his oath of office.

Shouldn't the snipers be stationed on a different hill?


This link is to an article, with a video, by a reporter that investigated the events leading up to the standoff in Nevada. 

Article by Dana Loesch

I think those that want to know more about the event should read it before making any judgment.

The Correct Description is Concrete

I have a minor pet peeve about a term people use all the time. The term is "cement", when describing concrete.

What's the difference? Cement is a powder. The powder, usually "Portland Cement"  is the binder for concrete, which is a mixture of coarse aggregates (usually crushed rock), fine aggregates (usually sand) and the cement, which comes in many varieties.

Although it seems simple, the chemicals used in concrete, including set retarders and liquid air for insulating qualities, make for a multitude of specialty products. The varieties can be simple, or complex for special applications, such as a high strength, flowable concrete I once used to pour through 8 inch holes in a bridge deck.

So, when someone says: "That looks like a cement truck ahead." they're probably referring to a concrete truck, which is called a redi-mix batch truck. A cement truck is a tractor trailer combination, with the trailer being a hopper.

Calling a concrete truck a cement truck is like calling a cake a pan of flour.

Now you know the difference. You can fascinate your friends with your new knowledge.

One Sunday Afternoon in April

I stopped at a convenience store on the interstate to get something to drink. There were four men in the store; somewhere between 40 and 60; humorless and not speaking to each other.

They were dressed in buttoned, short sleeve shirts, casual slacks and I didn't pay attention to what they were buying. Since I was right before them in line, I paid for my soft drink, left the store and climbed into my pickup.

As I backed from my parking spot, I noticed a light green Taurus, with rental plates. In the back window was a black ball cap, with F.B.I. printed in white. As I pulled away, one of the men left the store and climbed into the driver's seat.

Within five minutes, I was passed by the same car. The four men were quietly sitting, there was nobody speaking and they all were just staring ahead.

The next day, Waco came alive, as every government agency involved stormed the compound. The rest is history: seventy six people died; including women and children.

Did those men know what was going to happen? I think so. It was their employer that started, and finished the siege. How far they were up the food chain I'll never know, but if they have the tiniest shred of a conscience, it keeps them awake and they know they were part of one of the worst, botched government operations ever performed by the bureaucratic boondoggle we call the United States government.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thoughts and Inabilities

Today, as I did the things my job requires, my mind wandered in every direction; no clear process or direction. Call it a montage of thoughts; jumbled and trying to clarify some unclear purpose.

Anyway, with the dozens of scandals, political dirty dealings, terrible occurrences and other things that can cause me to fret, the cacophony of quiet musings didn't stop - until a few moments ago, when I stepped from my room and examined my surroundings.

Words can't describe the evening. Even with the surrounding testaments of mankind's efforts to present beauty - and failing miserably - the strong cool wind, and sound of the surf can only be described as wonderful. The evening sky is bright, but not; the high cirrus in the pastel blue washed with a dim orange slowly fading to a dull gray. The gibbous moon almost overhead; a brightening light in the deepening dark.

In a secluded spot, royalty would pay dearly for even a humble abode to enjoy such an evening. There are few like it and should be relished forever.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Now, What Can Anyone Do?

It's obvious the Department of Justice is sitting on its hands, since those that need close scrutiny - maybe prosecution - are at the top of the food chain.

Why can't a U.S. attorney file a criminal complaint and arrest these people? That's a question I already have the answer for: They're either complicit, or too frightened.

Another Beautiful Day

Yesterday was windy, but it was a perfect Spring day. Today promises to be the same.

It's a shame it's a work day.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

One Spring Afternoon (Re-Post) Again

I spent a substantial part of this weekend with people I love dealing with a father that will never wake again. Massive strokes led to hospice, and his strong body is refusing to give in to the call for the next journey. 

So, why am I posting this again? I thought of this story as a beautiful Spring afternoon unfolded. Trees are full of new growth, azaleas are in full bloom, the gentle north breeze is filled with a freshness only known at this time of year, and a homecoming is soon to happen. 

It was a glorious spring afternoon. The tug between the seasons was almost over; the passage of late front the day before left cool temperatures, which yielded to the afternoon sun.

The new leaves on the trees signaled the final break from the grasp of winter. Almost impossibly green they were a brilliant contrast against the azure sky.

Shawn sat on his front porch and soaked in the day. His thoughts wandered between different subjects, but the unique weather had led most of his thoughts to years before. It seemed just about everything brought a memory, or a feeling of something so familiar, it tugged at his concentration.

The neighborhood was quiet, like it always was before. Generations were represented by each house. While the houses might not be childhood homes, they weren’t far away for the occupants. They only needed to go a short distance to find a neighborhood that held the memories of their youth.

A few houses down, a neighbor was cutting their lawn for the first time of the season. As the grass, straggly dandelions and clovers succumbed to the whirling blades they released a perfume, with a hint of wild onion. The odors wafted to where Shawn sat and pulled his thoughts to a collage of spring days he lived long ago.

As he thought, a honeybee landed on his leg. Resisting the urge to swat it away, Shawn quietly watched as the bee seemed to rest and regain its strength. It reminded him of a long gone day when he arrogantly interrupted a bee and was rewarded with a sting. His mother carefully removed the stinger and his father made a poultice of cigarette tobacco. Although the pain was soon gone, he spent the remainder of the afternoon showing his playmates, who were fascinated by the angry red swelling with the red dot in the middle.

Sufficiently rested, the bee soon left, made a few quick circles around the porch and left. Shawn watched as it flew across the street; soon too far away to see.

“Good afternoon Mr. McIntyre.”

Looking over, he saw the women that delivered his mail walking across the yard.

“Good afternoon, Gladys. It’s a fine day, isn’t it?”

“It sure is. I’ve been waiting all winter for this.”

Walking onto the porch, she asked: “Do you want me to put it in the box?”

“Please. I’ll get it on the way in.”

“I’m afraid I don’t have anything but junk. No bills, letters or cards from your sweetheart.”

Shawn laughed and answered: “So, it’s just another day?”

Laughing, Gladys replied: “I guess it is.”

Placing her hand on his shoulder for a moment, Gladys spoke as she hurried on her way: “You have a good day.”

“I will; you too.”

As she walked away, Shawn admired her as he always did. He found her attractive, although he knew he was far too old to ask her out. He longed for the days when such thoughts would never cross his mind. Age had won the battle against his youth long ago.

A car passed slowly and stirred the smell of sun heated asphalt. The scent soon reached Shawn’s nose; returning him to his childhood, when such heat allowed removing his shoes and playing barefooted. He remembered the cool, spring ground was a sharp contrast to the sun heated pavement. If his feet got cold, he only had to stand for a moment on the sidewalk and the feeling would leave.

Looking at his hands, Shawn examined them for a few moments. He had a hard time recognizing the wrinkled, spotted appendages that were his own. Thinking hard, he realized he couldn’t remember his hands when he was young. The thought saddened him; such things should never be forgotten.

The warm air soon conquered Shawn’s unwillingness to not enjoy every moment of the afternoon. Drowsy, he soon fell asleep.


Waking abruptly, Shawn looked up to find his neighbor, Caroline, standing next to him on the porch.

“Are you okay?”

Shawn was embarrassed. Caroline was always worried about him, which was understandable, even though it bothered Shawn. Alone, and with his family miles away, she would constantly check; even offering food, which Shawn refused. He was adamant about taking care of himself.

Caroline would “visit”, although Shawn felt it was more of just making sure he hadn’t lost his ability to survive and was a danger to himself. Even though he was suspicious of her reasons, the visits were always pleasant and welcomed.  Shawn appreciated the company, which was a rarity these days. Almost all his friends were gone and only the youngest of family members were left.

“I was just taking a nap.”

“It’s a good afternoon for a nap.”

Shawn smiled and examined Caroline’s face. He could see the worry through her smile. It made him sad; she shouldn’t have to worry about such things

Shaking away his thoughts, Shawn answered with a happy tone: “It’s a wonderful afternoon for a nap.”

“I brought you something.”

Looking at her hands, he found she was holding a pie, covered with clear wrap.

“It’s apple.”

Shawn was pleased. He loved a pie – which he allowed as an offering – and apple was his favorite.

“I’ll put it on the counter.”

As she went into the house, Shawn thought of his mom’s apple pie. He helped her when he could, which always left enough dough for a treat. His mother would cover it with butter, sprinkled it with sugar, add a dash of cinnamon and then bake it until a golden brown. He would enjoy it with a glass of cold milk.

A robin landed in the yard, which diverted Shawn’s attention. It soon started picking at the ground for a meal of the insects that were emerging from the cold ground. Mesmerized, Shawn felt as though he’d lived this exact moment before. Digging in his memories, he couldn’t find any reference, but everything felt so familiar.


The voice sounded far away, but familiar


Suddenly worried about the time, the sound of a distant train whistle signaled it was 6:00 pm.

“I’m late” Shawn said in a panic.

Jumping from the porch, he ran to the sidewalk and paused. The warm concrete felt good on his cold feet. They were tender, but summer would bring the thick calluses that allowed walking on hot pavement.

Looking back from where he came, he started to examine the old man and young woman on the porch. He knew who they were, or did he? Isn't her name Caroline?

“Shawn Michael!”

Glancing one last time, he saw the woman shaking the shoulder of the old man. Pushing away any thoughts, he started running down the sidewalk toward his mother's voice. She only used his middle name when she was mad or worried.

It was time to go home.

When I Wore a Younger Man's Clothes

Years ago, I was in a band. We played a local bar, when I wasn't working offshore. The gig ended, when I was offshore and the crowd became more to handle than the owner was prepared to handle. I don't know what happened, but it was rough and things became ugly.

One night, while playing, an old man would walk up to my piano, place a ten dollar bill and ask if we'd play "Matilda". I didn't know the song; never even heard of it and couldn't have played it if I wanted.

His wife, who politely walked up, after the man stumbled away, would smile and pick up the ten dollar bill. She'd be a few steps behind, sit down after he parked for another beer, and quietly wait.

This happened three times. They eventually left and I could only wonder what they were doing there. I guessed it was their favorite watering hole and things quieted down, when we weren't playing.

This song reminds me of the time, although I never went on with my musical career. Too many other things caught my attention and fate led me here; thinking about the past and still loving the memories.

After XP

I'm still using Windows XP. I have no problem with it and it continues to serve its purpose.

Why haven't I upgraded? Because all the "advance" versions were steaming piles of crap and there's no way to upgrade to the current version, which has its detractors.

Microsoft will end all support on 4/8/14. After that, some new software will be totally incompatible with my operating system and strip the gears. I'll be pissed, as usual, stomp around and cuss like a drunken sailor.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

So, What Did You Expect?

Ozzy Osbourne spent a substantial amount of his career abusing himself; and he's paying the price today. Age is kicking his butt, but he's still a showman.

My wife liked his reality show, which revealed who Ozzy really is and how nobody can escape their effect on their children. I watched a few episodes and found Ozzy could be crude, but all in all, he was fairly ordinary with ordinary problems. Most of all, the effects of his past were obvious; I had the feeling he wasn't comfortable with some of his decisions and wanted his children to avoid his mistakes.

I've never been a huge fan, since I didn't care much for the image "Black Sabbath" projected. Still, he'll come out with a song I like, and this is one.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Some Dregs for Your Friday Evening


So, Another Work Week Ends

So, I guess I could complain about things beyond my control, or fume about the things hampering my schedule, but I won't. It's nice to be home, the weekend is ahead and not having to smell sulfur.

Life is good.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Looking at My Keys

I was looking at my keys this evening. The accumulative effect of being around so much sulfur is turning the keys from a dull brass color, to black.

One of the old hands at the site told me it's common and on bad days, it will even turn the change in your pocket.

Oh good. I'm looking forward to that.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Faith, And Other Things That Temper Your Patience

Do you ever think about the term "faith"? I do, and it causes many moments of self-doubt.

Faith, if you're religious, is that belief your moments in life are never wasted and a grand purpose dictates everything that happens.

If not, then it's a belief your moments in life are never wasted and a grand purpose dictates everything that happens.

Confused? You shouldn't be. It's all about faith. If you don't have it, I can't explain it to you.